In the winter, we get three hours of sunlight and it routinely gets to -40F.

I live with my partner and my cat.

Here is proof featuring the cabin and a pic of me.

Also had to repost because I accidentally messed up the first one.

Edit: I need to go to bed soon , so I might not answer right away. But I will try my best to answer all questions as I'm going to bed or in the morning. Thanks everyone! I didn't think there would be this much interest.

Edit 2: I have a 8 hour drive home today. Having a hard time keeping up with questions, but want to make sure I try to answer them all. So I will do so this evening once I'm home. Feel free to keep asking , I will get to it all eventually.

Comments: 2713 • Responses: 140  • Date: 

DaymD5963 karma

Why do you play Life on Very Hard difficulty ?

scattered_pine4003 karma

This is the best question of them all.

And I have no answer for it.

Positivistdino517 karma

You're definitely using and wasting fewer reaources. For existing the way you are you have my thanks.

Edit: apparently Alaska is a ridiculous place to live and while I appreciate OP's ascetisism, it probably is offset by the attendant emmissions necessary to live in a frozen wasteland.

scattered_pine749 karma

Thanks. I like that we use less water and feel it's better for the world. But also it makes us use a lot of paper towels so I'm worried it cancels out.

blueGBC1662 karma

What do you do for a living? Also your cabin looks very cozy and comfy. Greetings from Mexico.

scattered_pine1897 karma

I'm a health inspector, but during the pandemic I'm working for the covid task force temporarily.

Hello! And thank you! I love it so much!

DonHac956 karma

Do you find a certain irony in being a health inspector who lives without running water? I mean, clean running water is usually regarded as being the very top priority in public health.

scattered_pine1403 karma

Yup. Sometimes I laugh at how I cook because of no running water. Constantly reusing dishes or just doing a paper towel wipe down of a plate.

But the point of a health inspector is that it doesn't matter in your own home what you do, because you will only make yourself sick.

It matters in restaurants because it affects public health. A single mishandling of food there could make hundreds of people ill.

pcvcolin385 karma

I used to be a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador (98-00, successful service plus extension). Had no running water. Water if it "ran" was from a pump fed tank that was opened for a bit over an hour daily, which as a result of gravity was sufficient to fill up concrete reservoirs village residents had near their homes, like a giant sink underneath a tap. You were expected to carry your own water from the giant concrete tub / sink in the center of the cluster of homes, back to your own dwelling / hut. I also would use a water filter on my water (it wasn't purified in any way).

Not chlorinated though. That was a project which eventually happened (chlorination math, equipment, training). I was a Water and Sanitation volunteer.

Not having running water is normal if you live somewhere remote where you work in a health field, I guess. It is just something to work on improving.

Most people had no latrines of any kind and after a year of surveys of asking people what they might want to work on or develop as a health objective, latrines seemed to come up a lot. So the Health Ministry there and I and the local village ADESCOs (basically like town councils but at village level) worked with people for some time on composting latrine projects for which the community was over 60 percent financially responsible as I recall. It was a good project because in the end it meant people's waste was not contaminating the community well.

All good things take time.

scattered_pine162 karma

This is awesome! I've always wanted to do the peace corps and it's on my bucket list.

Thanks for your volunteer work! You are awesome !

hamiltonrmcato77 karma

Living and working in sub saharan Africa for six years, I have come across a lot of returned peace corps volunteers. Some people really enjoyed their experiences and some super didn't. It depends a lot on the country director of your placement. Some are cool and supportive of project ideas, others are bought into the original idea of peace corps and don't care about projects. The thing in general about peace corps that I tell people is that its mission is not development, it's about giving young Americans experience abroad and cultural understanding. If you're most interested making a difference I steer people towards ngo work. Given your background you might check out global health corps, but there are tons of jobs all over. Check out devex idealist and reliefweb for ideas.

scattered_pine19 karma

Thanks for the advice! Trying to get into ngo work actually. I'm really interested in environmental conservation and science communications.

Herald_of_Leshrac83 karma

How does one go about becoming a health inspector? It's a career path I've been considering due to my previous line of work drying up during the pandemic.

scattered_pine191 karma

Tbh It wasn't something I ever expected to be. I just kind of needed a job and saw an opening. The only requirement was having a degree in some sort of biology field.

bigginz871084 karma

How do you shower/bathe?

scattered_pine1456 karma

At public facilities.

During lockdown I had to bathe in a tote by boiling water on the stove.

citysity549 karma

What do you mean by bathing in a “tote”? The only meaning of tote (as a noun) I know of is a bag.

scattered_pine979 karma

Oh I always refer to the bin totes as a tote. Like the plastic storage bins.

PieterPlopplop142 karma

Forgive me for going there, but don’t your underwear parts get kinda smelly with infrequent bathing?

scattered_pine314 karma

For sure. Our clothes get dirty faster. We try to bathe every other day , but a lot of times it's every three days.

Plus we do the old wipe down with baby wipes every once in a while.

fuckincaillou48 karma

So as a woman I have to ask (and because my aunt grew up in a house without running water too, and my grandma had and raised six kids in one, so I'm morbidly curious) what do you do for periods? Is it as simple as changing your pad/tampon? Or do you use a menstrual cup and have to figure out how to sanitize it without running water?

scattered_pine127 karma

I basically just use tampons the whole time to try and stay clean. And I will take more showers during that week.

Its honestly terrible and I feel gross and dirty during that time.

certifiedfairwitness119 karma

From one backwoods lady to another, what you need is a peri bottle.

scattered_pine47 karma

What's that?

certifiedfairwitness103 karma

Perineal irrigation bottle.

Hospitals give them out to new mothers and I found it life changing, to be honest. It's basically a hand powered bidet.

scattered_pine75 karma

I didn't know I wanted that . Thanks!

CovertLeopard806 karma

Do you have power from the utility company, or do you use some sort of generator?

scattered_pine911 karma

We have power from the city since we aren't too far out. So yes a utility company.

CovertLeopard610 karma

Do you hunt for meat or are you close enough to town to buy all your food?

scattered_pine1212 karma

I love close to town so we get most things at the store.

It is expensive though, so even though I personally don't hunt, I do trade homemade jams with friends for some moose and caribou meat.

millamb4307 karma

That’s sounds pretty neat!! It’s like the olden days! How does one determine how much jam to give and how much meat to take in return?

scattered_pine581 karma

I mostly just ask how much they want. Give them jars of jam, applesauce , and pickles.

I'm much better at canning things than I am hunting. And moose are so big it's easy for people to share.

MontanaClamBaked126 karma

What does moose taste like? Is it like bison or venison?

scattered_pine230 karma

It kind of reminds me of steak, but slightly sweeter if that makes any sense.

nolbear77 karma

Oddly enough, I'm currently working on a game about canning/preserving foods. It's cool to see someone on here with some real experience! What's your favorite part of the canning process?

scattered_pine102 karma

Wow that's so cool!

I just love collecting things the most. The berries or whatever I'm getting to can.

Zestyclose_Mango_333471 karma

What did you do before moving to Alaska and what made you move there?

scattered_pine941 karma

I lived in the lower 48 with my family and came up to Alaska to pursue a degree in wildlife biology.

I met my partner here and now I'm staying until she gets her degree.

Kyla_420389 karma

Do you feel safe living there? My partner and I are thinking about moving up but I’m concerned about people knowing that we’re a couple of females and it might put a target on us.

scattered_pine530 karma

I feel pretty safe actually. I know the violence rate is high, but I've lived in some pretty shitty neighborhoods and always been ok.

We recently found out one of our neighbors was a sex offender and he just fleed from the police. But nothing ever happened , he was just a recluse.

Zestyclose_Mango_333343 karma

What’s your biggest challenge living in a cabin outside of water-related stuff?

scattered_pine540 karma

Biggest challenge so far is that because of the pandemic, I work and live all in the same room.

Definately get a cabin crazy sometimes but that's what reddit is for.

omg_pwnies213 karma

To be fair, I also work and live all in the same room and I'm in the middle of a mid-size city. Yours sounds much more peaceful though.

Really interesting AMA, thanks for posting it!

scattered_pine117 karma

I never thought about that? How does that work. You have just one room?

omg_pwnies141 karma

We have an odd house. The ground floor is 2 bedrooms/1 bathroom, both bedrooms are rented to housemates and they share that bathroom.

My husband and I live on the top floor, which is one giant room with only our bathroom and closet walled in. Our bed is over in a sort of niche in one corner, and our desks are on the other side of the room, with a TV nook area in front of the desks.

It's like a giant studio apartment (about 900 square feet).

scattered_pine110 karma

Ahh man I bet that's hard. I think being in the city would be worse now that I think about it.

I can go outside at least and have my space. I will admit though it was easier in the summer. Now that it's cold I don't want to ever leave the house.

UsingMuse1237 karma

HA! That looks like a mansion compared to the van my wife and I live in! :-)

We live in it voluntarily though, and it does have hot running water so there's that...

scattered_pine8 karma

Oof props to you. I could not do van life.

Lawaldo293 karma

Honest question, how do you keep warm using the outhouse in the frigid temps? I think that would drive me crazy!

Cute cabin! I wish you and your partner all the best!

scattered_pine537 karma

We don't.

I usually just run to the outhouse in my robe and hope I can go as quickly as possible.

Its beautiful though being outside and taking a second to enjoy nature while pooping.

Lawaldo115 karma

I thought that might be the case! It would be peaceful to just enjoy the scenery while doing your business. At least when it’s -30, there aren’t any spiders to worry about out there!

scattered_pine271 karma


And the summer is worse than winter I think. I'd rather have the cold than a million mosquitos trying to bite me with my pants down.

Lawaldo46 karma

Oh, I hear you! Mosquitoes and flies are the worst!

Do you ever melt snow to use for things like washing dishes? Do you do laundry at a laundromat?

scattered_pine117 karma

We never melt snow, it's just not worth the effort. Very little water output.

We do laundry at the laundromat. Its actually the only thing I hate about living without water.

LowestKey254 karma

What is your daily vitamin D intake regimen during the long stretches of sunlessness?

scattered_pine388 karma

Really good question. I actually just found out I am super deficient( I didn't take any last year)

My doctor has me on 10,000 ius daily for the rest of the month. And then 5,000 here on out until spring.

Gluttannie69 karma

How did you realize you needed to get that checked? Did you exhibit symptoms?

scattered_pine125 karma

Blood test. She suspected since I told her I never took vit D.

willymustdie227 karma

How do you deal with periods? What with an outhouse and no running water? Hope this isn’t a weird question but as a woman with a heavy flow and bad period poops, I always wonder about these things

scattered_pine222 karma

Oh it's aweful.

I get the same bad periods as you are describing and that time of the month is just annoying and infuriating.

Def a downside to the dry cabin life. I always feel so dirty.

Lovingmyusername58 karma

Have you considered birth control to skip most periods? I only have a few a year now with my birth control and it’s amazing. I grew up camping a lot and periods while camping was always the worst so I can’t imagine that basically every month.

scattered_pine90 karma

I have, but I can't go on it. I have a genetic disease that puts me more at risk if I do.

CovertLeopard202 karma

Do you purchase water or do you collect it somehow? If the latter, how?

scattered_pine358 karma

There's no way to collect it in the winter.

We have five gallon buckets and fill it up at what's called the "water wagon" ( essentially a big pump in town).

It costs around 5 cents a gallon.

b-cat147 karma

This might be dumb, but couldn’t you scoop up a bucket of snow and let it melt inside to have free and easy (maybe not potable) water?

scattered_pine251 karma

Yes, it's something we do while winter camping but it's not really feasible.

Since snow is really just expanded water, it would take many buckets of snow melted to just get a cup of water.

TheRealJasonium173 karma

What type of internet service do you have?

scattered_pine223 karma

Its pretty fast, but expensive. 75 a month. There's two internet services to choose from up here.

av_clubmaster157 karma

That's surprising to me (and awesome). I'm in rural northern MI, and pay $100 / mo for 3 mbps internet. No other option except one satellite company that is worthless because of the geography.

scattered_pine150 karma

Oof that sucks. Yeah everyone always thinks alaska wouldn't have good internet. But it's better here than when I lived rural in Washington.

ThrowawayBTBUM64 karma

Lol I live in Alaska and pay $450/month. Not sure where you lived before, but $75/month isn't very expensive, but that might depend on how fast it is.

scattered_pine42 karma

Yikes thats expensive! I'm guessing you are more out rural?

I'm able to get ACS which is nice, because GCi sucks.

TheRealJasonium23 karma

Cable? fiber? DSL?

scattered_pine43 karma

I'm not the best with tech stuff, so Im not sure.

They just had to install a router for us so I think it's satellite or something? Its probably cable.

jrob323148 karma

Ever have any bear problems?

Take care and stay warm!

scattered_pine232 karma

Thank you!

No bear problems where I'm at. Sometimes the occasional moose comes by though. And to me, that's scarier.

forherlight93 karma

What makes a moose scarier? I’m mostly a city person so pls forgive the stupid question

scattered_pine253 karma

No don't apologize for that! And also happy cake day.

Bears usually aren't aggressive unless there's a cub or they need food. Moose are everywhere and if you are out and about and accidentally run into one, they can be really aggressive and charge. And they are so massive, freaks me out even when I see them next to my car.

danlvv162 karma

As a Canadian who has tree planted in remote locations as well as travelling through remote places many times, moose are scary because they are aggressive for all the reasons listed here. Also for context, a mooses back often stands 7ft+ tall and they are known in remote regions for crumpling semi truck cabs into pop cans. They are very powerful animals with very powerful charges.

scattered_pine116 karma

This omg! Great description.

Also they say to run zigzag in the woods from them or climb a tree if they charge. But I'm out where the trees are so small they will bend over if you try to climb them.

So basically I've accepted if I get charged one day, I'm probably dead.

xigua22134 karma

Do you live without water by choice or is there just no way to get water from the city?

You also said you live close to the city, so why was this location chosen instead of a place with water and power?

scattered_pine205 karma

To live in the city where I could get water is more than double the rent of what I have now so it's not worth it.

A lot of places can't get water, even close to the city because of permafrost.

springflingqueen52 karma

How much do you pay in rent?

scattered_pine86 karma

500 a month

IveGotaGoldChain99 karma

Up until this point this entire thread I was thinking "fuck everything about living with no running water."

But $500/month might have sold me

scattered_pine60 karma

Yup it was that or 1000+ to have running water. I pay half of what I would pay.

Zestyclose_Mango_333103 karma

Moving up there for your studies is a ballsy move (in a positive way of course), where will you go when your partner graduates?

scattered_pine207 karma

It was actually the cheapest school for me to go to. I got instate tuition since my family is from Alaska ( my brother is alaska native). It was cheaper than Wa in state tuition.

We are thinking of moving to Germany actually to get our masters.

themo98164 karma

German student here🙋‍♂️

Have you decided which University you'd like to study at? I don't want to brag but for all reasons I can definitely recommend you my own University (University of Cologne). We have a wide range of biology masters, are one of the most LGBT friendly Unis (and the City even more so!) in the world and also the biggest university in Germany with lots of international students. If you'd like to have affordable accomodation though, I recommend you and your partner apply for the dorms many semesters before even applying for studying (yes, it's common practice here in many cities and doesn't cost anything to apply for the waitlist). You two can request living in the same appartement in a dorm. There are some very modern two bedroom appartments you might easily be able to share if applying early. There are quite a few things to consider but they'll usually listen to your wish.

Why do I emphasise so much on the dorm stuff? Because I really wish someone had told me all this when I was in high school. Studying in Cologne is cool but living, meh, expensive and there is fierce competition for housing all over the city!

Anyway, good luck with your studies and have a great weekend☀️ (It's Saturday lunch time over there right? Over here, it's night and Sunday started an hour ago)

scattered_pine114 karma

Wow thanks for the long comment! I will have to look into that!

We haven't chosen anywhere yet because we are trying to find a school that has both our programs.

I'm looking for a science communications masters and she's looking for a electrical engineering renewable energy masters.

Good point on the dorms though, how expensive is it to not live in the dorms?

themo9855 karma

Allright you're welcome! :) She may want to check out check out the TH Köln/Deutz (the Technical University in Cologne, Deutz is the name of a part of the city where one of their campuses are) as they have most engineering degrees here, renewable energies should defo be among those.

It depends. Dorms are usually 200-300 (good rooms in 2-4 person appartments) per person, though the range goes from 140 (cheap and, well, not luxurious to put it nicely) up to 340 (single appartments with your own kitchen and bathroom and stuff), Euros.

Living prices outside of state owned dorms is much more unpredictable. Close to the uni, you will usually end up paying between 500 and 700 euros for a single room appartment, though I've seen prices going up to 900 euros for (sometimes) nicer places. Two bedroom appartments are somewhere around 700-1300 Euros, the closer to Uni or city center usually more expensive. It should be noted that in rare cases the houseowners of single bedroom appartments are against couples living in those. This is not the case with the single room appartments of the university.

All students at the unis i mentioned get a mandatory subsidised state-wide public transportation ticket, it costs us around 500 Euros a Year. If you are okay with commuting, you can live a bit more affordably in the outskirts of the city and reliably enough commute to the university. But counter in the time it wiuld take to get to a workplace and living inside the city may be worth it.

scattered_pine48 karma

Thank you so much for this! Its a lot of help and even though it two years out for us, I've been wanting to do research.

Zestyclose_Mango_333103 karma

Your cabin looks neat, I’m assuming you’ve been there for a few years?

scattered_pine140 karma

Yes, I've been in Alaska for six and in this cabin for over a year now.

Zedfourkay92 karma

How does your cat cope with the situation and environment?

scattered_pine262 karma

She loves the cabin since she gets a lot of attention, but she hates the winter.

We adopted her from a bad situation last year ( she is 11) and had never gone outside.

All summer we let her run around in the sun and she loves it. Since winter hit she doesn't understand and keeps trying to go outside and then runs back in when she realizes it's cold. She's definitely been depressed and I feel bad for her.

TexanReddit19 karma

Now I want to do some research on depression in cats and sunlight and Vitamin D and (boy, does this sound like a rabbit hole.)

scattered_pine19 karma

Noo I don't even want to do that research. I just want a good life for my cat.

clobeeep22 karma

Not to be nosey but I would recommend a sun lamp! For you or the cat! Even just a little heat lamp can do wonders. While I’m not half as far north as you I grew up in south east Asia and I’m living in the capital region in NY right now and the winters are long and cold for me... getting a sun lamp made a world of difference~

scattered_pine25 karma

Good advice! Thanks!

I've been thinking about getting a happy light too. And we do have a heating pad for the cat which she adores.

LetsGatitOn81 karma

Do you ever experience seasonal depression?

scattered_pine159 karma

Not really, but most people do experience it.

My biggest thing I just to stay one schedule. If I don't, I notice I'll be making dinner at 9 pm or waking up late because theres no way to tell time in the winter or summer.

akcoder62 karma

To add to what OP said, the light up here really messes with you. In the summer, you look at the sun and think, oh it’s probably 5ish. Nope, it’s 10 PM. In the winter it’s pitch black when you leave for work, and pitch black when you drive home, at 4pm.

One of the big problems people here have is vitamin D deficiency. I had an old doctor tell me he doesn’t bother testing vitamin D levels. Unless the pt takes 5000 IU’s, it’s pretty much given they are deficient.

scattered_pine29 karma

Yup agreed! I also take 5000 ius. Was taking 10,000 for a while.

LittleBoiFound37 karma

How much sunlight do you get in the summer? Thanks for the awesome AMA.

scattered_pine80 karma

Thanks! Glad people are enjoying it, wasn't sure if people would be interested.

We get 24/7 sunlight in the summer.

SpogNYC24 karma

Obviously you don't have to disclose exactly where you are, but with your sunlight comment does that mean you're pretty far north in Alaska, or does the southern part of the state also get that tons-of-sun in the summer thing? Curious, because some years ago I was in St. Petersburg, Russia for a few weeks in June (I think, maybe early July, my memory is shot) and it would be sunny at like, two in the morning and stuff (definitely was freaking weird for me).

scattered_pine56 karma

Yes I'm up north. Down south does experience it too but they get more of a twilight in the evening.

Where I'm at, it's all sun all day and night.

N694206 karma

What’s wrong with making dinner at 9pm? I do it all the time!

scattered_pine10 karma

Honestly I hate doing that. Feels off schedule to me.

HashbrownSloot199274 karma

Hi! I'm in Alaska too (grew up here, moved for school, now I'm back), it will be a while before I can put a decent down payment on a house, but I keep seeing these little dry cabins on just the BEST property. Can I ask what you had to pay and what your mortgage is? Thank you and your place looks gorgeous!

scattered_pine86 karma

Hi, I don't know if I can answer that question we because I dont own it, I just pay rent to a landlord. 500 a month.

But it seems like dry cabins are the way to go for affordable property with land.

Zestyclose_Mango_33359 karma

Interesting, and what’s your end goal in wildlife biology since you are pursuing a graduate degree?

scattered_pine111 karma

I want to get a master's in science communications, maybe work in a non-profit or something like that.

Haven't found exactly what I want to do yet, but I know that I care a lot about conservation.

CovertLeopard58 karma

How do you heat your cabin?

scattered_pine98 karma

We use a Toyo stove. So with oil.

The city doesn't allow wood stoves anymore because it created too much pollution .

nom_of_your_business20 karma

What about a pellet stove are those not allowed either?

scattered_pine39 karma

I'm not sure actually. They might be allowed.

It seems everyone uses Toyo stoves though, it's kind of the standard.

fottagart57 karma

Is there anything in particular you miss that you can’t get or can’t do where you are now? Like pizza from your favorite pizza shop, laying out in the sun on a beach, stuff like that...

scattered_pine120 karma

Most amenities here are great compared to the small town ( 1 restaurant) I grew up in Washington.

The one thing I miss sometimes is rain. Its mostly snow or sun here with occasional rain in the summer.

Oh and fresh veggies. Everything up here is expensive and tastes bad.

fottagart40 karma

I’ve heard that about food being expensive. Makes sense, it costs a lot to ship things fast and far.

One more question if you don’t mind - have you ever seen the northern lights where you are? If so, what was it like?

scattered_pine116 karma

Yes, all the time. Just saw them a week ago actually.

They are so beautiful! They even crackle if they are strong enough.

Noozefer53 karma

Can you pay cat tax? Thanks.

scattered_pine42 karma

Whats cat tax?

omg_pwnies64 karma

They mean that they/we want to see a picture of your cat. :D

scattered_pine45 karma

Oh! I have one on my profile if you scroll down a couple of posts.

eggsaladactyl42 karma

Whats the price for a gallon of milk these days? I have family that lives in Anderson and the last time I was there, like 8 years ago, the prices for everything was insane but a gallon of milk blew my mind.

Do you plan on staying there permanently?

scattered_pine56 karma

I usually don't buy milk so I'm not sure for where I'm at. I think it's a couple of dollars.

I do travel for work though and at one of the villages I noticed it was 10 dollars a gallon.

No, just here till my partner finishes school. We might move back one day though.

Zestyclose_Mango_33330 karma

It seems to me like you need to be crafty and resourceful to do what you guys are doing. Do you have any prior experiences in such things? (Camping, etc.)

scattered_pine61 karma

I'm not sure if you need to be crafty, but we definitely are.

My partner is from a city in Alaska so she knows nothing about camping. My dad was born in Alaska, so even though I'm not from here I spent my childhood backpacking and camping.

I've always loved the outdoors so it's not surprising to my family where I ended up c

jlefrench29 karma

Do you ever feel unsafe? I've heard horror stories about lack of policing and concern for assault etc.

scattered_pine27 karma

Nah I feel pretty safe. I've heard stories too and the stats arent great. Guess I've been lucky.

momo_knows26 karma

After moving to Canada -40F isn't tooooo bad if you have the right coat and gear. But that 3 hrs of sunlight would really get to me.

If you don't have running water, how do you deal with showering or taking a bath daily? Or do you do the old west once a month routine? lol

scattered_pine32 karma

Yeah having good gear really helps.

We take showers at public facilities. But still less often than I'd like. I always feel dirty.

callmemaybe9026 karma

Hello from Texas! I've only ever seen an out house in Mexico and this was years ago when I was a kid. How does it feel to take care if business in the freezing temperature?

scattered_pine94 karma

We call them " quick pees at the dry cabin"

Basically we go really fast when it's cold. Also it sucks in the winter because poop freezes into a big poop spire that we have to knock over.

debridezilla14 karma

have you considered a chamber pot as an interim solution?

scattered_pine19 karma

No, some people have portable toilets just for night time but I don't want to deal with it, too gross.

sliverme20 karma

What are the phrases spelled out on the refrigerator?

scattered_pine103 karma

Very innapropriate things like "always lick woman"

farmer_villager19 karma

Where do you get water most of the time?

scattered_pine33 karma

We haul water in 5 gallon buckets from town. Its 5 cents a gallon to fill it. Mostly just used with cooking , dishes, and drinking.

tomatoboobs19 karma

Are you on the road system or in Bush country?

scattered_pine41 karma

On the road system, thank goodness.

My work takes me to the bush and damn I would not want to live in any of those places.

zortlord14 karma

I've heard domestic violence is a huge issue in Alaska. Care to comment?

scattered_pine16 karma

I've heard the same thing, but haven't experienced it nor do I know anyone who has experienced it. Guess I'm not around those people.

akanim14 karma

How do you deal with the cold inversion smog? I know it can be pretty bad. I visited the central Alaskan city you’re in a few years ago and just being outside for a few minutes left grit in my mouth and nose from the pollution.

scattered_pine17 karma

Oh it's aweful. But usually it's so cold I already have some sort of ski mask on my face to stay warm so it helps filter.

But man there is some of the worst pollution here.

QueenOfThePark13 karma

Your cabin looks so beautiful and cozy, this is such an interesting way to live. Do you guys read much? It looks like the perfect reading cabin, especially in winter. Wishing you all well in the cold months!

scattered_pine13 karma

Yes , I love to read! Usually a part of my bedtime routine.

WhosYoPokeDaddy12 karma

Why do you have electricity from the public utilities, and apparently internet, but not water/sewer?

scattered_pine24 karma

Permafrost is the reason a lot of places don't have running water.

I live close to town so the internet and electricity is fine.

mal08811 karma

What are your thoughts on "life in Alaska" programs like Life Below Zero, are they realistic or scripted? Thanks for the great AMA.

scattered_pine29 karma

Agreed with the below redditor.

They are not accurate whatsoever. Also I've had to work with some producers up here about following the law and they are assholes.

Drpaxtie11 karma

What's the first thing you'll do when you get back to a place with running water?

scattered_pine30 karma

Well whenever I visit family for any reason. It always feels like a luxury . I take a shower every day and wash my hands all the time. And get to wash my face with warm water at night, it's so amazing.

TheD1v1s1on511 karma

What kind of health do you inspect?

scattered_pine15 karma

Restaurants and everything else food related.

diminutive_lebowski9 karma

How do you like your Salmon prepared?

scattered_pine13 karma

Honestly I love it baked with mayo spread on it. Makes it all juicy.

But also I just love all seafood no matter the recipe.

Criss-Istr7 karma

How doees it feel to be so cool?

scattered_pine11 karma

I'm guessing you mean to be cold all the time? Yeah I live in a robe and wool socks.

But winter cuddles are the best here

Laterian6 karma

Thanks for living in Alaska and not in a shanty trailer that looks like it's been slapped together with shipping refuse. Are the mosquitos as bad as I've seen on the tv's?

scattered_pine18 karma

This is oddly specific.

Yes, they are really bad. I almost always wear a headnet in the summer and long sleeves.

Laterian6 karma

I just imagine a place like yours when I Invision building my own wilderness homestead but most of the shows your see display a lot of trailer like villages? It's my cable bias, sorry!

scattered_pine7 karma

Oh I mean Alaska has a lot of shitty looking places, especially in the bush.

I kind of lucked out with the cabin. The neighborhood we are in has ones that don't look as nice and are really small.

Laterian5 karma

Question two, room for one more? Kentucky is continuing on it's shit spiral into crazy.

scattered_pine12 karma

Alaska is also on a shit spiral so I would not reccomend.

JaytiW935 karma

What sort of music do you listen to?

scattered_pine7 karma

Mostly indie: really into summer salt right now and still woozy.

ehossain3 karma

No running water? So how do you do toilet 🚽?

scattered_pine7 karma

We have an outhouse! Its the last photo posted.

ohdamnitsmilo3 karma

You have a sink but no running water?

scattered_pine9 karma

Well yeah lol, we gotta be able to wash our dishes and hands somewhere. We just throw a jug on there with a spigot and that's how we wash our hands or get water to cook . The sink drains into a bucket that we dump outside.

ColoradoNudist3 karma

What strategies so you have for dealing with the darkness in the winter? I just don't think I could handle that, so it fascinates me when other people can.

scattered_pine10 karma

Staying on a schedule, eating at normal times, and getting exercise the same time everyday helps me regulate my circadian rhythm without light.

It doesn't bother me much, the darkness.

I find that the 24/7 sunlight is much worse and drives me crazy.

samsathebug3 karma

I met someone from Alaska once, several years ago, at a teacher training thing. He said when you left your home everyday, it was like everything was trying to kill you. As in, Alaska was trying to murder you as soon as you crossed the threshold.

To what extent do you think that's true?

scattered_pine3 karma

Haha no I don't think this is true.

I mean it's cold and everything takes extra time because of it, but I don't feel on danger.

ImWhatTheySayDeaf3 karma

I feel like you would like the game Stardew Valley if you haven't played it before. I also dont know if you play video games?

scattered_pine6 karma

Yes I've played that game a couple of times!

I don't play games much, but because of the pandemic I've been getting into legend of zelda again. I don't have a tv though so it's not easy to play.

marvinwaitforit2 karma

Im really interested in purchasing something like this to use for a month or two at a time. Any idea how I’d go about that?

scattered_pine2 karma

Hmm not sure since I rent this place.

I'm sure there's lots of places listed online for sale

thaddeh2 karma

Get that good Fox water?

scattered_pine3 karma

Nah not worth the drive

Brasm0nky2 karma

ever had a couple of guys from the turbo team come over and replace your toilet but they replace it with a joke toilet with a small hole thats only for farts, like a fart toilet?

scattered_pine3 karma

Uhh I don't get this reference.

We don't have a toilet anyways.

Brasm0nky1 karma

where do you poop

scattered_pine0 karma

In an outhouse. Its basically just a hole in the ground.

Brasm0nky1 karma

oh f that. I have a heated bidet. post pics

scattered_pine2 karma

Wow I'm so jealous! I would love a bidet!

We did put a foam seat in the outhouse so that our butts would at least not freeze.

Laterian1 karma

Do you two try and hold it to be the second seat so it's pre-warmed 😁😁

scattered_pine1 karma

Haha no. The foam actually works pretty well.

If I'm really cold though, I do wait long time to go.

tinkletwit2 karma

Gilll? Gilll Bates?

scattered_pine4 karma

Gill bates died, but hello!

Edit: mispelling.

H9281 karma

Can I get a picture of your cat?

scattered_pine2 karma

Yes there's one on my profile actually!

H9282 karma

Got a new question. Was your cat seriously a mayor of an Alaskan town?

scattered_pine2 karma

No that's not my cat. I was visiting that cat and recently had a photo I took pop up in my memories. I posted out of missing him .

Edit: my cat is the black one a couple photos down.

Rambo2727271 karma

Do you melt snow for water? Have a well?

scattered_pine0 karma

Melting snow isn't felt worth it. A lot of snow is needed for a small amount of water.

We do not have a well. it's hard with permafrost to have these kinds of things. We just haul in water in buckets for dishes and cooking.

Laterian1 karma

I wonder with something like this if you could insulate the central area of the crawl space ect and run the well from inside the home.. before building I guess just for access but I would guess that if you were able to dig past the perma and keep it that way it would be sustainable?

scattered_pine0 karma

The problem isn't the digging past the permafrost. Its that the permafrost shifts and destroys everything underground. All the cabins are even on stilts to try and keep them from sinking.

Spedly1 karma

Maybe this is answered elsewhere but why would you prioritize Internet over running water?

scattered_pine1 karma

Its not possible to get running water where I'm at because of permafrost.

Askymojo1 karma

What is your heating source? Pellet stove?

scattered_pine3 karma

Toyo stove!

nodalanalysis1 karma

I've watched documentaries of people who live liek this on purpose because it brings them a sense of peace.
Is that what you are doing, or are you doing it for some other reason?
Do you ever see yourself moving to a more populated area?

scattered_pine1 karma

I do it because it's cheaper to live like this. But it is peaceful. I feel that I live life more simply out here , aside from internet usage.

Yes, my partner and I plan on moving in a couple of years.

Mike11111111111 karma

Do you enjoy this lifestyle? I suspect you are paid a nice chunk of cash, but would you prefer to return to a more “normal” lifestyle?

scattered_pine2 karma

I enjoy it . I live this lifestyle because it's cheaper and I don't have a lot of money. So no I'm not really paid a big chunk of cash or else I'd probably have water.

Kiaser21-1 karma


scattered_pine3 karma

Why what?

Neo1331-3 karma


scattered_pine2 karma

Why what?

Neo1331-3 karma

Odd choice of places to live, I mean to each their own but why/ how did you end up there? Sorry if someone asked already, on my phone...

scattered_pine3 karma

Oh no worries.

I came up here for school and then met my partner. We are staying here until she finishes school.

Neo13313 karma

Awesome! Its beautiful in nature. I hope you two are enjoying/ making the most of it!

scattered_pine3 karma

Thanks! Yes we are trying our best, even in the pandemic.

LBJsPNS-32 karma

Given that the bulk of humanity lives without running water, how is it that you believe this is anything of note? Because you're a relatively privileged white person who has never had to live in these circumstances before?

scattered_pine19 karma

Its honestly really eye opening to see how much harder it is to live without running water.

I travel to villages for work where most people also dont have running water. They have the worst covid cases right now too because there's no way to stay clean. And I understand that because when water is limited, you just don't wash your hands as often.

I'm sharing it as an interesting experience and lifestyle for a place that's so cold. Sure I'm priveleged just by being white, but the reason I live in a dry cabin is because I don't have the money to live otherwise.